US consumers plan to spend an average of $682.74 during the upcoming holiday season, a 3.2% drop from last year's $705.01, according to NRF's 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch:
- The NRF expects 2009 holiday sales to decline 1.0% to $437.6 billion.
- Holiday sales in 2008 declined 3.4% to $441.97 billion, the first year NRF had
seen a decline since it began tracking retail industry sales in 1992. On average,
holiday sales have increased 3.39% per year for the last 10 years.
The Economy's Impact
Two-thirds of Americans (65.3%) say the economy will affect their holiday plans this year, with the majority of these consumers saying they will adjust by simply spending less (84.2%). People will also be shopping for sales more often (55.0%), using more coupons (41.7%), and putting up last year's decorations without buying new ones (34.0%).
Many Americans will also make changes in gift-giving, planning to buy more practical gifts (36.0%), buying a joint gift for kids or parents (17.3%), and making more gifts (16.7%).
Additionally, more than one-fourth of Americans (28.6%) say the economy is forcing them to travel less or not at all for the holidays.
Where People Will Shop